Mike Thalassitis Suicide Again Raises The Need For Treatment Over Men’s Mental Health

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The journey from being a regular individual and them becoming a showman also seemed to put a lot of pressure on Mike Thalassitis. The celebrity opened up about his mental struggles in the past. In 2013, the celebrity said he unsuccessfully tried to commit suicide by overdosing. Although, at the time, he claimed that seeking professional help helps enormously, “it's not something that goes away." The reality show world, especially the Love Island world, seems to put a lot of pressure on contestants. The reality show organizers seem to overlook the contestants’ well-being and neglect their mental health. Another Love Islander, Sophie Gradon, was also found dead in her home in June 2018. Although the Love Island broadcaster claimed that the contestants’ mental health is being taken very seriously and the team is making everything possible for them to access proper psychological support, the cast seems to be under severe psychological pressure. According to behavioural psychologists that collaborated with reality shows, more than this has to be done in the reality show world to help contestants overcome stress, anxiety and depression. The show is not finished when broadcasters stop filming it. For contestants, it leads to long and crippling anxiety, and ultimately, to suicide, just like it did in Mike’s and Sophie’s case.  

Men’s Mental Health is Usually Overlooked

Mike Thalassitis’ suicide brings once again men’s mental health under the spotlight. Traditionally, men are seen as immune to mental struggles. They have more internalizing disorders but externalising symptoms. While women seem to speak up about their mental struggles, men enclose those feelings and only act in certain ways. They become violent, abuse substances or show self-destructive behaviours. The patterns shown above come from traditional gender roles and differences. Men respond to stress, anxiety and other negative events in their lives in a way in which society expects them to. In studies and research papers, practitioners also have a tendency to overlook male distress. This leads to underestimations of mental health disorders in men and creates a severe gender gap when assessing and treating those. Numerous research papers identified a silent crisis in men’s mental health. Evidence has found that men are less likely to use mental health services to treat their mental disorders. Male suicides account for 75% of total suicides in the US. And in other areas of the world, the proportions are preserved. Geographically, males living in rural areas and small towns have higher suicide rates, worldwide. Unemployment is one of the main reasons why males commit suicide. The traditional breadwinner role that has been attributed to men puts increasing pressure on them. When they are unable to meet this particular role, men lose the sense of purpose and meaning in life, but their pride also has to suffer. Their masculinity is attributed to resilience and men are taught even at an early age not to cry, show emotions and so on. The cultural background also seems to play a role. Latino, Asian and Black men are less likely to admit themselves in mental health institutions, unfortunately.

Mental Issues Usually Result in Addiction, in Men

Males seem to be more likely to pick up destructive behaviours. The rate at which substance abuse occurs in males compared to females is 3 to 1. Experts see this as a slow-motion suicide. Males usually engage in such behaviours as a response to stressful life situations, to overcome anxiety or numb depressive thoughts. Men have negative experiences in court during divorce and are rarely granted custody of their children. For many, the separation anxiety is making them search for different coping methods, but those are rarely healthy and professional ones.

Therapy and Counselling for Mental Struggles and Addiction

The link between mental struggles and addiction in males is obvious for specialists. In males, anxiety and depression usually result in substance abuse. People struggling with mental issues seem to follow an addiction pattern or cycle. To relieve emotional pain, men start craving relaxation, a way to escape the feeling. They start using prescription medication, alcohol or hard drugs, some might even start to engage in self-harm. For a short interval, relief appears, but the user also starts to realise the negative effects of their behaviour. This usually results in low self-esteem, guilt and depression. And the cycle starts over with them trying to escape the new negative emotions. Addiction adds more layers to one’s anxiety. The pattern can be overcome, but unfortunately, recovery chances without professional help are relatively low. Rehabilitation clinics have developed over time more effective, personalised therapies and counselling sessions for each patient. Approaching the roots of addiction before trying to tackle addiction itself offers specialists a holistic and more effective approach to both mental disorders and addiction. Modern treatment centres offer structured rehabilitation and withdrawal management programs for mental health sufferers that show addictive behaviours. These programs are tailored depending on each patient’s needs and particularity to ensure ongoing effectiveness. Paired with residential rehab and counselling or therapy sessions, these methods seem to lower relapse chances significantly. To identify the underlying causes of addiction, specialised centres rely on the following. Men are encouraged to seek professional help as soon as they notice that their mental health starts to decline. Feeling angry and acting violently without an apparent reason, feeling sad and worthless after unfortunate events, like a breakup, feeling less of a male because of a job loss, these are not normal feelings. And while sadness is a normal human emotion, men should seek help before their coping mechanisms become destructive. If you or a loved one is suffering from mental health issues or an addiction and need impartial advice please call Help4Addiction on 0203 955 7700.

About Author

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn

Nicholas Conn is a leading industry addiction expert who runs the UK’s largest addiction advisory service and is regularly featured in the national press, radio and TV. He is the founder and CEO of a drug and alcohol rehab center called Help4addiction, which was founded in 2015. He has been clean himself since 2009 and has worked in the Addiction and Rehab Industry for over a decade. Nick is dedicated to helping others recover and get treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. In 2013, he released a book ‘The Thin White’ line that is available on Amazon.

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